It’s long been said that laughter is the best medicine and the people of the Danish capital, Copenhagen were aiming to prove that.
More than thirty thousand of them were in stitches, in the city’s main square, the air echoing to the sound of giggles and guffaws.
The festival’s organisers hope that the event will inject a little levity into the life of the average Dane during the long dark winter months.
According to specialists we’re laughing a lot less than we used to. And thirty-five thousand Danes set about reversing that trend on Sunday.
They gathered in Copenhagen’s main square and began to chuckle. And the chuckles soon turned into belly laughs as the organisers urged the crowds on to even greater heights of jollity.
Experts say that human beings have a deep seated need for humour, which for many of us remains undiscovered. But this therapist who uses laughter to treat her patients, believes that everyone has a duty to allow themselves to enjoy a joke.
“I think it’s a need, we need to laugh, we want to laugh, we want to have joy and happiness, but we need to allow ourselves to have it, and all these people allow themselves to have happiness in their lives.”
Hanne Gottlieb, Laughing Therapist
And the Danes certainly seem to be taking her advice to heart. Everyone feels good when they laugh, but doctors say there’s hard medical evidence that laughter can help all kinds of ailments and injuries.
“It is a proven fact that you can diminish pain by using humour, you can also reinforce the immune system of the organism, and you can also make healing of wounds, and also convalescence shorter by using humour, and anyway it is a good idea to use humour”.
Dr. Ole Riis Knudsen
Whole families arrived ready to take part and the laughter continued. Old and young alike were looking forward to going in.
“We just heard about it so we think it is a brilliant idea to be here.”
But it’s a good job the doctors were on hand. If the Danes are anything to go by, laughter seems more contagious than many illnesses. And with thirty five thousand patients in the square alone it seems that this epidemic will take some time to cure.